Andrew Sullivan notices some people noticing what we’ve noticed before: even though Newt Gingrich today loves to say the word “Reagan”, back when he was president, Newt compared Reagan to Neville Chamberlain and explained that his policies would embolden the Soviet Union.
It’s not that much of a surprise, really. Reagan, of course, would be hounded out of the GOP as a RINO today. Everyone who liked Reagan because of his policies– people like Bruce Bartlett and David Stockman– have left the Republican Party. Today’s Republicans are people who like Reagan because of the emotions they feel when they close their eyes and picture his hairstyle.
Here’s Rush Limbaugh discussing Reagan’s record with a liberal caller a while back:
Just as with conservative religion, conservative politics in the US are based on a reverence of totemic, shadowy images of real people, and a steady, resolute refusal to engage with the reality of their words and deeds.